A warning from Friends of the Earth : 45 day Countdown begins for construction of southern leg of Keystone XL pipeline

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I received an email from Friends of the Earth on 5/4 that contained bad news : Trans-Canada had submitted paperwork that day to the US State Department to re-apply for a permit to build the northern route of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, as had been requested earlier by the Obama administration. Trans-Canada has also applied to extend the existing Keystone pipeline from its current terminus in Oklahoma to the gulf coast. Below I have a link to the web page for the Friends of the Earth story about the tar-sands permits, and to another post on this topic submitted by Sacramento Dave in the Environment forum.

Here we go again ! It's time for Bill McKibben and friends to rally the troops and prepare for another series of protests in DC. There were over 1,000 arrests at last summers anti Keystone-XL protests in front of the White House, which generated enough publicity and turned up the heat up on the State Department before they had a change of heart and turned down the route requested in the previous permit. How many arrests will it take this time ?

Friends of the Earth

Sacramento Dave's post on this topic :

Jul. 7, 2011 11:13 am


Enough arrests to overcome the false impression the Obama administration wanted to leave that this thing was dead.

nimblecivet's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

good , we can tranzport oil , the stupid thing is why do we export it , why not keep it in this country ... enviornmentalists can kiss my explitive deleted lol , as long as there are no spills !!!!!

lilmorecountry's picture
May. 5, 2012 9:18 am

There are always spills, and this is the dirtiest oil ever. It is going to the world market, will raise prices for Americans and would not be on the table were we serious about an energy policy with a future. Then there is the fracking...

Apr. 26, 2012 11:15 am
Quote drc2:

There are always spills, and this is the dirtiest oil ever. It is going to the world market, will raise prices for Americans and would not be on the table were we serious about an energy policy with a future. Then there is the fracking...

i'm listening ... but if we build something to tranzport oil easier , why would gas prices go up .... doesn't that defeat the purpose or is this a foriegn project ... so why are foriengners building on americian soil . (notice the sarcasim)

lilmorecountry's picture
May. 5, 2012 9:18 am

The current Keystone tar-sands pipeline has several end points in the US mid-west, and in Oklahoma. Oil pipelines typically end at a land locked refinery, or at a refinery near a port. When the oil pipeline ends at a land locked refinery, most of the refined product goes into truck or train tankers for transport to the domestic market (increasing the local supply, therefore decreasing the price ... or, at least that is how it is supposed to work). Pipelines can also carry the refined products (gasoline, in this case) further downstream to meet with an export facility.

Since the current Keystone oil pipeline does not reach the coast, most of the refined products (gasoline, etc.) go into the market in the mid-western states. Once Trans-Canada and the Koch Brothers mafia are able to get an oil pipeline extended to the Texas coastal refineries, the mid-western states can kiss that supply of gasoline made from refined tar-sands oil goodbye. The reduction in refined product supply in the mid-west due to the diversion of the tar-sands oil from the domestic market to the export market will decrease the supply of gasoline and increase the price. That is exactly why the republican Koch roaches in congress are pushing to get this thing built ... they get kickbacks in various forms for doing the Koch's dirty work for them.

The refineries in the mid-west will be polluting less, and the refineries along the Texas coast will be polluting more. What makes this tar-sands stuff even more dangerous to the environment is that the Alberta sites where the stuff is extracted from the ground are fueled partly by natural gas pipelines that bring in a steady supply of fracking gas. This tar-sands oil extraction and refining process also requires more water than needed to support the typical oil drilling and refining operation. Spills from hese tar-sands pipelines are more frequent and do more damage to the environment than spills from more traditional types of oil.

While I'm not happy with this stuff being imported into the US and refined here, I'd rather see it replaced than eliminated from our market completely. I still wonder how and when the existing Keystone pipeline was approved so quietly, without anywhere near the publicity generated by the Keystone XL. One of these days, I'll have to spend some time on the 'the google' answering that question. From the little I've heard about the oil boom in North Dakota, the extraction of the shale oil deposits there is not much better than the tar-sands impact on the environment.

Jul. 7, 2011 11:13 am

I received the following email today from Kim Huynh of Friends of the Earth asking for help in getting EPA administrator Lisa Jackson to not rubber stamp the Keystone XL pipeline :

Tell EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson: Prevent the rubber-stamping of the Keystone XL pipeline through Oklahoma and Texas.

In less than 45 days, Canadian oil giant TransCanada could receive the rubber stamp it wants to build the southern leg of the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline from Oklahoma through Texas to the Gulf Coast -- unless we convince the Environmental Protection Agency to intervene.

You may recall that, after seeing its pet project initially stopped by your activism, TransCanada finagled a fast-tracked review process by splitting its tar sands oil pipeline into northern and southern halves.

News broke last week that, in addition to submitting its re-application to the State Department for the transboundary, northern half of its pipeline, TransCanada has submitted its application for the only federal permit it needs to start building the southern half -- a water permit from the Army Corps of Engineers.

To further evade meaningful review, TransCanada has applied for a catch-all water permit, which would allow it to receive approval for all 101 water crossings in one fell swoop -- without any public input, scientific review or accountability.

The EPA regional office already objected to this fast-tracked approval process -- and pressure from you will help convince EPA headquarters to stop it. Tell EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to prevent the rubber-stamping of the Keystone XL pipeline through Oklahoma and Texas.

The Army Corps of Engineers, which has an abysmal environmental track record, has a maximum of 45 days to approve or reject TransCanada’s application. Or, if they do nothing it will be approved by default.

This rubber-stamp process is inexcusable. It's an insult to residents of Texas and Oklahoma fighting to protect their water, air and land, and to all of us fighting to protect our shared climate from more tar sands oil pollution.

The southern leg of Keystone XL is the crucial link that would enable the tar sands industry to get its climate-wrecking oil to the Gulf Coast for export to international markets.

The EPA’s regional office said last fall that a fast-tracked, all-in-one water permit process is inappropriate -- noting that the pipeline poses an immediate threat to water and wetlands in Oklahoma and Texas.

A tar sands oil spill could devastate major rivers in Oklahoma and Texas and contaminate aquifers like the Carrizo-Wilcox, which provides drinking water to more than 10 million Texans. Tars sands oil pipelines carry especially toxic sludge that’s heavier and more corrosive than conventional crude, leading to more spills that are harder to clean up.

We’ve got fewer than 45 days to halt the southern segment of Keystone XL. Please urge EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to stand up for the public’s right to have a say over a pipeline that would threaten our water, air and shared climate. Tell her to halt a rubber-stamp approval by the Army Corps of Engineers.

With its southern and northern permit applications in, it's clear, now more than ever, that TransCanada's doing all it can to bypass a transparent, thorough review process to get its dirty and dangerous pipeline approved as soon as it can. We're going to continue to watchdog the northern segment process, to ensure that the conflict of interest-ridden contractor Cardno Entrix is dropped from the review process and that the State Department starts from scratch with a new impacts study.

With the clock winding down the 45 days on the southern segment's approval, we need the EPA to formally intervene and request a full, thorough review of the southern segment of Keystone XL.

Please take action now and, with your help, we’ll continue to stand by people in the path of this dangerous pipeline and fight the expansion of the dirty tar sands industry every step of the way.

Tell EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to ensure a full, thorough review for the Keystone XL southern segment -- no rubber stamp for Big Oil.

For a clean-energy-fueled future,
Kim Huynh
Tar sands campaigner, Friends of the Earth

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Jul. 7, 2011 11:13 am

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